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How much sleep do we require to function efficiently with the exponential growth in insomnia, and can you catch up on it?
Although researchers don’t know why we do it, the average person will have spent 24 years of their life asleep.
Scientists have conducted studies to test to see how much sleep we need. They assigned people into three groups where one group slept 4 hours a night, the other 6 hours, and the last group 8 hours a night.
How Much Sleep Do We Need?
After 14 days of the study, the group that had 8 hours a night was seen to have significantly fewer cognitive issues and attention lapses. However, those who got 4 or 6 hours showed a rapid decline in cognitive functioning.
After the two weeks, the six-hour group exhibited the same reaction time as someone with a blood-alcohol level of .1%, which is considered legally hammered.
The Study Outline
The four-hour group was worse, periodically falling asleep during cognitive functioning tests.
In the four- and six-hour groups, cognitive functioning decreased day by day in a linear motion, never levelling off. Research calls this decline “sleep debt.”
Science tells us the brain and body can recover after a couple of nights of good night’s rest. Although if long-term sleep deprivation adds up to weeks or months, cognitive functioning is much slower, requiring many more nights of quality rest.
If disturbed nights turn from months into years, it is unknown if brain function can ever be adequately repaired or if it can cause permanent brain damage.
Surprisingly, how tired you feel will level off with chronic sleep deprivation. It means that you become less aware of your impairment.
What is the Required Amount?
Researchers recommend that adults get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Those who consistently earn less than seven hours of sleep a night are at greater risk for diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and a 12% higher mortality risk.
Although, studies have shown that getting more than eight hours of a night does not improve brain function. People who rested more than eight hours a night are at more significant risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and a 30% increased risk of death.
Our genetics play a huge factor in how much sleep we need a night. There is a gene mutation in some that allow them to be fully functional after six hours of sleep. People with this gene variation have more biologically intense sleeping sessions.
It is essential to listen to your brain and body to know how much sleep you require.